This was the original image I was given to work with. It’s a gorgeous picture with masses of colour and it would have been great fun to dye something really vibrant with red, black, yellow, violet and orange. Or a couple of the bright colours offset with the stone. Or several of the shades of brown from the body and some red. Lots of options.
The part of the picture which most caught my eye was the section on the back wing which looks like a skull.
There are several reasons this appealed. We’re going to see the Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A in April, and I’ve been drooling over some amazing McQueen designs. I’m especially fond of the scarves which incorporate skulls in many different ways so some are almost hidden while others form the whole design.
So having picked a tiny bit of the picture I cropped everything else out.
Thank goodness for the ability to make things bigger.
This left me with a palette if several shades of a lilac/ blue colour, a dark charcoal and a light sandstone colour.
As there’s so much contrast in the original design I wanted to mirror this in the finished yarn, so having one dark colour and 3 much lighter colours worked well.
Finally I thought about proportions of each colour – there’s more of the sandstone in the picture, but I wanted to play up the gothic twist of something as beautiful as this butterfly being marked with a skull so I decided that I’d use more of the charcoal. To stop this being too overpowering I chose to make the charcoal lighter than the colour in the picture – somewhere between that and the stone in the original photo.
And that’s how Golden Wings Flutter By came to be.
My dyeing is the skein on the left of the picture – isn’t it interesting to see what three dyers do when given the same image to work from?